Wednesday, October 07, 2015

I don't think that word means what you think it means

Here is a transcript of some remarks made by the President today at something called a White House Summit on Worker Voice.  Let me just point out something that indicates just how clueless, hypocritical, and/or condescending Obama and most mainstream Democrats really are toward, not only the labor movement, but just most working people in general. 

Toward the end of the President's speech he appears to express some sympathy toward the problem of increasing underemployment.
Oftentimes companies became more sophisticated about keeping out unions.  Workers, fearing that they might lose their job to off-shoring or to moving down to a right-to-work state, felt less confident about negotiations.

Our culture as a whole started somehow extolling greed is good, instead of, how do we work together to create a good society for everybody.  Jobs, as a consequence, began paying less, offering fewer benefits.  And in recent years, we’ve seen more companies cut costs by hiring contractors and “permatemps”  -- workers who are laboring side-by-side with full-time employees but don’t earn the same pay and benefits and job security.  That’s a bad phrase -- permatemps.    
"That's a bad phrase -- permatemps."  But does the President even know what it means?  He himself uses the word moments after having praised the very "sophisticated companies" responsible for facilitating its spread. 
In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of American innovation in the workforce.  And because of technology, people are empowered and employers are empowered to create value and services in new ways.

We’ve got folks who are getting a paycheck driving for Uber or Lyft; people who are cleaning other people’s houses through Handy; offering their skills on TaskRabbit.  And so there’s flexibility and autonomy and opportunity for workers.  And millennials love working their phones much quicker than I can.  (Laughter.)  And all this is promising.  But if the combination of globalization and automation undermines the capacity of the ordinary worker and the ordinary family to be able to support themselves, if employers are able to use these factors to weaken workers’ voices and give them a take-it-or-leave-it deal in which they don't have a chance to ever save for the kind of retirement they're looking for, if we don't refashion the social compact so that workers are able to be rewarded properly for the labor that they put in -- people like Terrence -- then we're going to have problems.
LOL those millennials! They are so good and quick with that crazy phone-fu, amiright? Is that kind of banality all it takes for a whole room to miss that the President just got finished praising the "innovators" making everyone into permatemps?  We really are doomed. 

Note also the segue into the threat of "globalization and automation" he just helped bolster via the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.  It's hard to think of any way a Democrat could be any more shameless.

Oh wait. Here's one. Just today Hillary Clinton told PBS she is now opposed to TPP. Hillary Clinton, you might recall, used to be Obama's Secretary of State where she almost certainly had a hand in crafting the negotiations that led to the deal.  Don't worry. She'll come back around as soon as she doesn't have to face Democratic primary voters anymore.

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